Friday, November 19, 2010

Kids, I thought we'd try a peculiar experiment tonight...

So began my second yoga class with that quote from the very wise (and very white) Marjean. Would you be scared?  I certainly was.  But not because I was afraid of doing something freaky (and I'm not going to elaborate on what "freaky" means because what's freaky to me may be perfectly normal for you and I wouldn't want to make you feel uncomfortable) but rather because I was afraid that I wouldn't be successful at whatever she was proposing.  But true to the character that is Marjean, it was almost like she sensed my apprehension and my reasons behind it because immediately after making that ominous statement, she followed it with a speech about how this wouldn't be a class of trying to be perfect, but rather a class on just how to be.  Her exact words were, "Today's class is about making room for your soul, not trying to put your toenail in your ear.  That's not Yoga." I started to relax.  That's not to say I didn't still feel a bit nervous that I would somehow fail her experiment (by the way, it wasn't anything peculiar at all...in fact I think it would actually be quite boring if I tried to describe it here.) And I did; I completely toppled over during one pose.  But Marjean was quick to justify my "failure" by stating that that pose was quite a wobbly one and showed me an easier alternative pose.  At first I felt that by only doing the less-challenging pose, I was someone inferior to the rest of the class.  But when I peeked at the veterans around the room, I saw that they weren't really doing too much better than me.  And they weren't worried about it; in fact, most of them had their eyes closed.  I joined them by closing my eyes and instead of trying to find my centre of balance and not toppling over during the wobbly poses, I tried to make room for my soul.

A couple nights later, I conducted a totally different kind of experiment when I took the boy to Local Kitchen and Wine bar, an amazing italian restaurant in Toronto that focuses on locally grown and sourced foods.  It was an experiment because anytime you take an imp-ish 11-year-old to a tasting menu, anything could happen.  Fortunately, as predicted, the experiment was a success.  In case you can't tell from some of my earlier posts, (this month) he wants to be a chef when he grows up.  So as a special birthday present, I took him to enjoy this meal, cooked special for him while we sat at the chef's table.  Two hours and 6 courses later, my son said it was the best meal he had ever had in a restaurant.  And even though I have eaten at amazing restaurants all over the world, I have to agree.  Every course was even more delicious than the one before it.  And in a meal of fresh burrata cheese served with sundried tomato pesto,  homemade pasta with fresh tomato sauce, smoke gnocchi with rapini (my favourite dish as it had the perfect balance of richess of the sauce and gnocchi cut by the fresh bitterness of the rapini), the most delicious flank steak marinated in balsamic carmelized onions, chocolate nutella sandwich cookies with a sprinking of sea salt, and whole anchovies served on toast over arugula that was picked from the owner's farm only hours earlier.  So what was the boy's favourite dish?  Shockingly, the one I thought he would be most reluctant to try...
The boy enjoying a Nutella sandwich coolie.  He took a bite and then licked all of the Nutella that had squeezed out the sides and then offered me a bite.  Did I take it?  Of course!

Did you like how I am keeping you in suspense by forcing you to scroll down to find the answer?  Well, it was the anchovies!  Shocking huh?  Well, I guess that that was one peculiar experiment that paid off.

This was definitely a week that left my body and soul full, satisfied, and happy.

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